Application Closes: June 17, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. CST

The Austin City Council approved Resolution No. 20200423-040 on April 23, 2020 to provide $1 million for the Austin Creative Space Disaster Relief Program. This grant will provide direct support to for-profit live music venues, performance spaces, art galleries, arts-focused nonprofits and individual artists facing temporary or permanent displacement. 

Applicants may apply for up to $50,000 toward unpaid commercial rent and to defray rent hikes, property acquisition costs, or other space-related needs such as facility improvements or displacement-related expenditures.  

A Grant Review Committee comprised of public and private sector leaders in the arts, banking, and real estate sectors will evaluate the applications and make final recommendations for awards. The grants will be awarded on a competitive basis, and priority will be given to organizations or individuals confronting immediate and critical needs. Organizations serving historically underrepresented communities are encouraged to apply. 


Submit Eligibility for Rent Stipend Application 

Submit Eligibility for Other Space-related Needs Application 


Virtual Information Meeting 

June 9, 2020 from 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. 
Register to attend the Virtual Information Meeting  


Download a PDF the Austin Creative Space Disaster Relief Program Guidelines, Definitions, and Supplemental Information

Eligible Applicants
  • Arts-focused nonprofits 
  • Individual Artist 
  • For-profit organizations: The applicant must meet the Economic Development Departments definition of either a “Live Music Venue”, “Performance Venue / Theater”, or “Museum / Art Gallery”: 
    • Live Music Venue: An establishment where live music programming is the principal function of the business and/or the business is a live music destination, and where the venue clearly establishes the ability of an artist to receive payment for work by percentage of sales, guarantee or other mutually beneficial formal agreement for every performance. A live music venue is a destination for live music consumers, and/or its music programming and is the primary driver of its business as indicated by the presence of at least five (5) of the following: 
      • a) Defined performance and audience space; 
      • b) Mixing desk, PA system, and lighting rig; 
      • c) Back line; 
      • d) At least two of the following: (i) sound engineer, (ii) booker, (iii) promoter, (iv) stage manager, or (v) security personnel; 
      • e) Charges cover charge to some music performance through ticketing or front door entrance fee; 
      • f) Markets specific acts through show listings in printed and electronic publications; 
      • g) Hours of operation coincide with performance times; or 
      • h) Programs live music at least five nights a week. 
    • Performance Venue / Theater: An establishment whose principal function and mission is to present live performances, plays, live music, film screenings, or other performances of artistic work produced by an artist, or arts and culture organization, accessible by public audiences. 
    • Museum / Art Gallery: Facility whose principal function and mission is to exhibit, present, and/or sell artistic work in a variety of media produced by an artist, artist collective, or arts and culture organization, accessible by public audiences. (For the purposes of this program’s eligibility, this will not include City-run/owned, State-run/owned, or Federally-run/owned facilities.)
Ineligible Applicants
  • Government organizations 
  • Individual artists seeking funding for private studio work space or studio space at their home 
Evaluation Criteria and Scoring

Applications will be evaluated by a Grant Review Committee and scored as follows for a total possible score of 130.  


  • Compelling Project Need – 20 Points 
    The applicant demonstrates the extent to which the funding will address a compelling organizational need. 
  • Urgency – 25 Points 
    The applicant demonstrates the level of urgency of need: 
    • Most Urgent: The applicant has already been displaced or needs to immediately relocate, renew a lease, or renovate to avoid displacement that is expected to take place within 6 months of application submission – 25 Points 
    • The applicant demonstrates the level of need from sudden and catastrophic loss due to COVID-19:  
      • Loss in revenue of 70% or more – 25 Points 

      • Loss in revenue of 60% to 69% – 20 Points 

      • Loss in revenue of 50% to 59% – 15 Points  

    • Urgent: The applicant has not been displaced yet, but needs to relocate soon, renew a lease, or renovate to avoid displacement that is expected to take place within 7-13 months of application submission – 10 Points 

    • Important but Less Urgent: The applicant has not been displaced yet, but needs to relocate soon, renew a lease, or renovate to avoid displacement that is expected to take place within 14-20 months of application submission – 5 Points
  • Co-location – 15 Points  
    The applicant demonstrates the extent of co-location opportunities for other creatives or creative-based organizations that this funding would support and how any co-locating/sub-leasing opportunities it intends to offer will help it meet or advance its own mission or improve programmatic collaboration. The applicant should include number and types of creatives or creative-based organizations served and in what capacity, and the qualitative and quantitative measurement for this co-location or shared space to increase capacity, efficiency, or effectiveness of both: (1) the “host” organization and (2) “hosted” creatives or “hosted” creative-based organizations, as the case may be.  
  • Organizational Stability/Project Readiness – 15 Points 
    The applicant demonstrates that it is facing significant financial constraints, but has evidence of planning to identify and mitigate financial risk or has pursued or secured other sources of public support, philanthropic, investment, and/or earned revenue, and the extent to which ACSDRP funding would contribute to increased financial stability for the organization over the grant period. The applicant should demonstrate leveraging of other funds that it is seeking, or has received, financing in the form of a loan, line of credit, or grant within the month prior to submission.  Through staff analysis of the applicant’s financial statements, the applicant demonstrates sufficient liquidity to further operate in the near-term. If requesting funds for relocation or renovation, the organization demonstrates a high degree of financial and project readiness, and ability to complete such relocation or renovation in a timely and fiscally responsible manner.
  • Equity – 25 Points  
    The applicant demonstrates that it is committed to equity and to serving historically underrepresented communities in the City of Austin. 
  • Event History and/or Artistic Programming/Advancement - 5 Points 
    The applicant demonstrates the quality of its event history and/or artistic programming/services, and advancement of the organization over time. 
  • New Recipient – 10 Point Bonus  
    The applicant has not received any previous ASAP or ACSDRP funding. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

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Is this grant for residential or commercial leased space?

This grant is only for commercial leased space. Read the Eligible and Ineligible Applicants section located above. 

When are grants awarded?

Grants awardees will be announced the week of June 29, 2020.

Can I use the Austin Creative Space Disaster Relief Program funds for my personal studio space located within a residence?

No, funds may not be used for home studio space. Funds are only used for commercial leased spaces.

Can the rent stipend be for up to 12 months?

Yes, the rent stipend can be awarded for up to 12 months.

As an independent artist, am I required to apply through a non-profit sponsor?

No, you are not required to have a non-profit sponsorship. This program allows individual artists to apply.  

Is the maximum of what you can receive for rent stipend only the amount by which your rent has increased?

You can only receive the difference between your previous rent and current rent. You may receive the amount of missed rent during the COVID-19 pandemic, since March 1. 

Will our creative business financial status affect our score?

No, your financials will serve to support your answers to the application questions. 

If my organization has already been displaced and is building out a new space, it that considered urgent?

Yes, it is considered urgent. Read Evaluation Criteria and Scoring section located above. 

Is the City of Austin able to connect artists with spaces?

No, the City of Austin cannot locate space for you. You must provide an executed lease or lease offer for the space you occupy or intend to occupy.

Can independent artists earn points in the Co-location category?

Yes, the application includes questions that are relevant to both organizations and independent artists.